Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the stratospheric ambitions of the Middle East air transport sector generally, and mind-boggling wealth of the Arabian Gulf states in particular, had expected the 2007 Dubai Airshow to be an epic event. But it is doubtful that anyone outside the top tiers of the region’s airline managements really anticipated the volume of business announced over just five days (November 11 to 15).
Embraer Phenom 100
We’re now in year two of the great “onslaught” of the very light jet, and soon these small two- and one-engine turbine-powered airplanes will be “darkening the skies” and “clogging up traffic” at airports all over the world, if some predictions are to be believed.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its third-quarter shipment and billings report, showing good news for business aviation OEMs that already have record backlogs. As the industry adapts to a market where for the first time, more aircraft orders come from outside the U.S.
Embraer and Montreal-based training provider CAE announced a joint venture to provide pilot and maintenance training for the Brazilian airframer’s new Phenom 100 very light and Phenom 300 light jets. According to the agreement, CAE will begin initial training for pilots and technicians at its Dallas facility in the third quarter of next year, and at its Burgess Hill, UK center starting in early 2009.
Embraer’s executive jet division comes to Dubai in bullish form with announcements for more than $200 million of new business and forecasts for strong growth in the sector, particularly in light and very light jets.
Third-quarter delivery figures reported by Embraer indicate the Brazilian manufacturer’s presence in the business jet market is gradually but steadily increasing. The company said it delivered three Legacys in the third quarter of this year, bringing the nine-month total to seven. In the first nine months of last year, Embraer delivered just four Legacys, and in the same time frame of 2001 only two Legacys were shipped to customers.
The second Phenom 100 VLJ took flight yesterday, departing from Embraer headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Captains Marcio Brisolla Jordão and Antonio Bragança Silva were at the controls, assisted by flight engineer Carlos Roberto Silveira Filho. Phenom 100 number two, equipped with full flight-test instrumentation, is slated for systems testing, in-flight thrust determination and flutter testing.
Cessna Citation CJ4
The Citation CJ4 takes the single-pilot CitationJet into a higher-performance realm while retaining the signature characteristics of what used to be Cessna’s entry-level jet series. The CJ4’s new features should make it easier to fly and maintain than other members of the Citation line.
Embraer booked more orders here yesterday. Executive AirShare of Kansas City, Mo., has added to an order it placed in May, signing for an additional three Phenom 100s (with options on three more) and two Phenom 300s (with options on two more). The order in May was for seven Phenom 100s and options on seven more.
The total value of the new agreement is $22.24 million and could double if all options are exercised.
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is to unveil a conceptual mockup interior of its mid-light and midsize business jets (the MLJ and MSJ, respectively) tomorrow morning at the NBAA Convention in Atlanta.